Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chess Piece Storytelling

I came across a fascinating phrase recently: chess piece storytelling. It is what happens when a story consists of "This character goes here; that character goes there." In essence, it reads like a game of chess, where it only shows where the pieces moved and what they did. 

This is a classic example of amateur writing. It is all description and no emotion. It lacks humanity and empathy. 

I want to emphasize that this is not bad writing; it is amateur. The difference here is that chess piece storytelling is a good first step. It is like building the skeleton of your story. It gives you the structure from which you can build more refined ideas on top of it. An amateur simply needs to know that there are more steps to go to make it complete. 

I might even go so far as to recommend amateur writers give it a shot. Write a chess piece story, and when it's done, use it as an outline to then write a more exciting and fuller version for your next draft. 

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